Parliamentary panel call for split of WASA

Published: May 16, 2019 21:30:46 | Updated: May 17, 2019 20:45:53

A parliamentary panel has called for Dhaka WASA to be split in two like the bifurcated city corporations amidst anger over the quality of water supplied by the agency.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Accounts on Thursday made the recommendation to the government at a meeting in order to ensure the supply of drinkable water to residents of Dhaka.

But the panel expressed dissatisfaction over the absence of Dhaka WASA Managing Director Taqsem A Khan from the meeting, reports bdnews24.com.

"WASA was informed of the meeting at the Parliament Secretariat. But they failed to attend. We have asked them to explain their absence," said Abdus Shahid, the panel's president and former chief whip.

The state-run utility supplies water to nearly 20 million people in Dhaka. But agency has been marred by allegations of dirty and foul-smelling water supplies for some time.

According to Water Aid Bangladesh, only 56 per cent of the population in Bangladesh can access safe water. The figure is similar for Dhaka.

The daily demand for safe drinking water in Dhaka is around 230 to 235 billion litres. WASA extracts 170 billion litres from its deep tube-wells and supplies another 600 million litres by purifying the waters from the Buriganga and Shitalakkhya Rivers.

But due to faulty supply lines in different areas, the water gathers dirt and foul smell when it reaches the taps at households.

Transparency International Bangladesh on April 17 released a report which found that about 91 per cent of households in Dhaka burn 3.32 billion of gas annually to boil water before drinking it.

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